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May 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye is the Hardest Part

This past Saturday, I unfortunately had to say goodbye to my twelve-year-old Golden Retriever, Penny. She was diagnosed with a type of auto-immune kidney disease about a year ago and recently developed minor nerve damage in her spine. We brought her to the hospital on Thursday night and she wasn't getting any better. My family and I made the difficult decision on Saturday morning to have her put down. She spent most of the day sleeping in my lap, getting love from the people she loved most and the doctors and vet technicians who had taken amazing care of her this past year.

I had gotten scratched by a neighbor's dog, about a year before we got Pen, which had turned to a full fledged phobia of anything canine. My mom decided that was ridiculous and decided to adopt a Golden Retriever because they're great with kids. She found out about a new litter of puppies from a co-worker and they just happened to be her breed of choice. That weekend my mom told me she was taking me to visit puppies; all fears of dogs disappeared as soon as I saw the sweet, blonde balls of fur. My mom asked the breeder if there were any left and she said there was a boy and a girl. My mom asked me if I wanted to take one home and I immediately decided to get the girl. Six weeks later, I finished my last day of third grade and we picked Penny up to take her home. She was no trouble at all, fun to play with and I soon started calling her "my little sister."

For the next twelve years, Penny and I grew up together. She took care of me when I needed a friend or someone to cuddle with and I took care of her through her multiple medical mishaps, (major surgery, eating chocolate, Nana's pills, and a magnet, getting a dew claw amputated, etc.) shared more snacks with her than I ever wanted to and taking her on walks when the vet said she needed to lose weight.

For the past twelve years, Penny has been my best friend and little sister and I'm heartbroken to not have her around anymore. It's so upsetting to not have 60 pounds of tail-wagging fur to greet me whenever I walk into the house with a stuffed animal. There's always going to be a place in my heart that aches for Penny and I will always miss her. Losing a close friend is devastating and I'm so appreciative for my other friends and family who have been doing a bunch of little things to get me through this hard time. And now it's time for adorable Penny pictures because nothing about Penny can be a downer....

kristen from living bittersweetly

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